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The removal of unwanted body hair.

Unwanted hair is a common cosmetic problem, especially affecting women. If hair growth is excessive, a physician should examine the individual before any treatment is undertaken, because occasionally the cause is an underlying disorder of the ovaries, pituitary gland, or adrenal glands. In most cases, however, no such problem exists and hormonal treatment is both ineffective and potentially dangerous.

A variety of local treatments is available to remove hair without unnecessary damage to the skin. Shaving is one method. Depilatory creams can be applied to the area but must be used in the correct concentration and not left on too long. Alternatively, the skin can be dusted with powder and hot wax applied. When the wax has hardened it is pulled off, bringing the hairs with it. Both depilatory creams and wax treatment are only temporary solutions; the hairs reappear within a month or so.

Permanent removal of superfluous hair may be achieved by electrolysis. This technique destroys the papilla that carries nutrients to the hair follicle in the skin. In the hands of a skilled operator, electrolysis should be relatively painless and not leave visible scars.

Dep`i*la"tion (?), n. [Cf. F. d'epilation.]

Act of pulling out or removing the hair; unhairing.



© Webster 1913.

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